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BSc Biological Sciences -
what you'll learn – University of Reading

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    Discover the awe-inspiring secrets of biological sciences

BSc Biological Sciences -
what you'll learn

The wonderful world of biological sciences explores the many different aspects of our living world, how we can preserve it - and how we can learn solutions to society's problems.

Biological science is a vast umbrella covering many fascinating topics, and our ethos is to give you the best and most comprehensive learning experience possible. You will learn theory in lectures and practical skills in our suite of new laboratories. The School of Biological Sciences is home to some of the world's finest minds in the field, and your learning will be guided by academics on the frontier of discovery.  Classes are kept small and interactive to ensure that you have the chance to interact with our leading experts. During your degree you will have the opportunity to pick different modules to suit your interests. You will find some examples below.

Examples of fascinating modules

Venoms and Poisons

Petri dish virus sample

Many living organisms have built up an arsenal of venoms and poisons, ranging from the lethal bite of a boomslang to the deadly properties of the spotted hemlock. This integrative, second year module will allow you to delve into the fascinating world of venoms and poisons. You will not only learn about how and why organisms evolve this lethal concoction, but also how these natural toxins can provide further insight into physiological processes and targets for pharmacological innovations to treat disease. In doing so, you will see how various disciplines, such as evolution, zoology, plant sciences, pharmacology and biochemistry come together to help us understand the origin, synthesis and uses of venoms and poisons.


Building Blocks of Life


This first year module will allow you to explore the ingredients that are fundamental to life itself - ranging from our genetic code to the basic unit of life, cells. You will learn about microbial, animal and plant cell structures, how energy is produced, consumed and stored as well as how cells carry out their essential functions. This will culminate in an exploration of how cells help life survive in extreme environments. You will also gain hands-on experience of key molecular techniques such as recombinant DNA technology and polymerase chain reaction (PCR).


Introduction to Evolutionary Processes


Evolution is an age-old process that involves genetic change over generations, giving rise to the diversity of living things that we see around us. In this first year module, you will learn the evolutionary processes that shape our natural world, such as natural selection, adaptations and maladaptations as well as sexual selection and sexual conflict. Apart from the theoretical aspects of evolutionary processes, you will also have the opportunity to explore these concepts in case studies and problem-solving sessions led by experts in the field such as Dr Louise Johnson and Dr Richard Walters.


Medical genetics

medical geneticsCancer, cardiovascular disease, muscular dystrophy and obesity are prevalent in our modern society and are now known to be hardwired into our genes. This final year module will allow you to explore the genetic basis of these conditions and expose you to the latest clinical and therapeutic research (such as gene therapy and drug discovery). You will also be given the opportunity to discuss the various diseases with academics who are at the forefront of their field such as Dr Dyan Sellayah, and Professor David Leake.



Find out more about BSc Biological sciences

For information about this course, entry requirements and funding, take a look at our course specifications page.

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